Enjoy two nights in delightful Victoria—British Columbia’s picture-perfect capital. This colorful pedestrian-friendly city is an ideal spot for whale watching, biking, shopping, and sampling from the wide variety of cafés and restaurants that line bustling Government Street.
Savor the island’s relaxing pace by exploring its lush gardens, and admire the historical architecture while embracing Victoria’s friendly ambiance. During free time, visit one of Victoria’s landmark castles or churches or enjoy a stroll along the quaint inner harbor.
Day +1: Arrive in Victoria, British Columbia
Get settled into your hotel and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Explore some of Victoria's most beautiful downtown sites, including Christ Church Cathedral—with its gothic stone architecture, magnificent stained glass windows and Helmuth Wolff organ; Craigdarroch Castle—a stunning Victorian mansion; Bastion Square—site of the original Fort Victoria with stunning views of the local harbor; or the renowned Royal British Columbia and other museums that can be found in the area.
Overnight: Fairmont Empress
Day +2: Victoria
Join your guide for a half-day panoramic city tour of Victoria to visit Government Street, Parliament, and the harbor.
Time at leisure provides additional opportunity to explore more of this charming city. From walking tours of the downtown area to appreciate its history and culture, to whale-watching cruises to see the wildlife-filled waters off the coast, plus sightseeing, carriage-riding, English-style high tea and strolling through some of Beacon Hill Park's 200 acres—there are endless ways to fill your day. You may even choose to end the day with a renowned haunted Victoria tour or a visit to one of the many craft breweries in town. Your local guide or hotel concierge can help set up a day perfect for you.
Overnight: Fairmont Empress (B)
Day +3: Depart Victoria / Vancouver / Main Program Begins
After breakfast, enjoy visiting a must-see national historic site of Canada—lovely Butchart Gardens. Enter and be enveloped by lush greens and colorful blooms. Blossoming for more than 100 years, 55 acres of gardens with 900 bedding plant varieties, 26 greenhouses, and 50 full-time gardeners create a wonderland of beauty everywhere you look.
Take a short 20-minute ride to the ferry terminal to cruise over to mainland Vancouver—a passage providing unlimited scenery with the likelihood of spotting various marine wildlife.
After arriving in Vancouver for the main program, join fellow travelers at the hotel for a delicious welcome dinner. (B)
B = Breakfast
This pre-tour is not escorted by an Orbridge Travel Director. Included sightseeing is accompanied by a local guide. Space is limited, so it's recommended to reserve early for best availability.
It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, get in and out of a motor coach, board a water vessel, and walk up a flight of stairs without assistance.
Located on Victoria's Inner Harbour, this luxury hotel offers unparalleled hospitality and comfort. The Fairmont Empress has been named a Condé Nast Readers' Choice and Gold List hotel and honored by Travel+Leisure as a top Canadian hotel. Guests can enjoy the various on-site amenities, including a full spa, fully equipped gym, and indoor heated pool. Or perhaps experience Tea at the Empress—a daily tradition since 1908.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, luxurious linens and down-filled duvets, cable TV, high-speed internet and Wi-Fi (additional fee), coffee and tea maker, bathrobes, safe, and en suite bathroom with hair dryer.
Pre-tour rate is per person based on double occupancy in U.S. dollars. Airfare not included.
- A 1.5 hour ferry cruise from Victoria to Vancouver across the Strait of Georgia
- 2 nights accommodations at the Fairmont Empress (or similar) with breakfast each morning
- A guided panoramic city tour
- Admission to Butchart Gardens
- Gratuities to local guide
- Airport transfer for guests arriving during the suggested times